Creating absurdity and subtle profundity

A twitterbot is more-or-less an automated text generator that spews spam, poetry, or interacts with other twitter users. I built my twitterbots, @WritingAssnBot & @MakesTheHeart, using Python. @alexanderussel1 is written in ruby with the help of some open-source code.

Writing Assignment Bot

@WritingAssnBot uses a mad-lib style algorithm to formulate writing assignments every hour on the hour. Give it a follow and you’ll soon be knee deep with things to write about.

Makes the Heart Grow Bot

@MakesTheHeart pulls words from two gigantic word lists composed of nouns and adjectives which then complete {noun} makes the heart grow {adjective}.


@alexanderussel1 is an alter-ego bot based on open-source e-books code. The program reads my tweets and compiles them into a model that it then uses to create new tweets. There is a bit of logic that attempts to pair words in order to piece semi-coherent sentences together.

The same logic applies when tweeting at the bot, as it will try to respond with sentences containing words close to the words you’ve used when tweeting at it.

The rhetoric produced varies in intensity and borders between poetry, philosophy, semi-sentient ramblings, absolute absurdity, and occasionally, utterly dismal thoughts.

Creating a home for the robots

With the exception of the alter-ego bot, I set up my bots to live on a raspberry pi that sits under my TV. Raspberry pis are cheap, small, and use far less energy than a laptop or computer. Turning a pi as a server is a great way to house small applications that need to be constantly running and connected to the internet. Additionally, it only uses about 2.1 watts compared to the 11-80ish watts consumed by a Macbook Pro. I opted to run my pi “headless” (meaning no monitor/keyboard/mouse connection) and I can ssh into it to upload, edit, and run programs.